The Note’s Must-Reads for Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates Jacqueline Fernandez, Jayce Henderson and Amanda VanAllen

2012 ELECTIONS: ABC News’ Devin Dwyer: “ Republican Group Under Fire for Email Featuring Obama Shot in Head” A Halloween-themed email from the Loudoun County, Va., Republican Committee was swiftly condemned by conservative and liberal groups today for featuring an image of a ghoulish-looking President Obama with a bullet hole through his head. The message, with the subject line “Halloween 2011,” invites supporters to a community parade where “we are going to vanquish the zombies with clear thinking conservative principles and a truckload of Republican candy.” LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Michael A. Memoli: “ Commission sets three 2012 presidential debates” Well before the first votes of the 2012 campaign are to be cast, the Commission on Presidential Debates has determined the dates and locations for general election confrontations between the major candidates. The first of three televised debates will be on Oct. 3 at the University of Denver. A town hall meeting-style debate will be held on Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. LINK

Politico’s Reid J. Epstein: “ Earliest states begin to shape up” Mitt Romney is the Republican presidential front-runner for now. Just like he was in November 2007. With just nine weeks to go before the Iowa caucuses, the early-state polls are still very similar to the national polling, with Romney holding leads in each state   LINK

PRESIDENT OBAMA: The Washington Times’ Paige Winfield Cunningham:” Obama, lawmakers can’t swear off special tax breaks” President Obama has repeatedly called for doing away with special tax breaks he says litter the tax code — but he himself has recently proposed yet another new carve-out to push businesses to hire veterans and spur the economy. LINK

HERMAN CAIN: The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker and Nia-Malika Henderson: “ Herman Cain denies ever sexually harassing anyone, calls allegations ‘totally flase’” Herman Cain on Monday called accusations of harassment from two former employees “totally baseless and totally false,” moving aggressively to knock down allegations that could jeopardize his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. LINK

The Hills’ Justin Sink and Josh Lederman: “ Cain: I’ve been ‘falsely accused’” GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain on Monday rejected allegations of sexual harassment, saying he had been “falsely accused” and was the victim of a “witch hunt.” Cain acknowledged there were charges of harassment when he served as president of the National Restaurant Association from 1996 to 1999, but said they were baseless.  LINK

The New York Daily News’ Alison Gendar: “ Republican White House hopeful Herman Cain says sexual harassment claims against him were baseless” Herman Cain consistently denied Monday he sexually harassed anyone — but the details about what he knew changed throughout the day. Cain spent the day denying allegations raised by an explosive report claiming that two women had accused him of improper sexual behavior in the 1990s. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Alicia Mundy and Neil King Jr.: “ Cain: I Was ‘Falsely Accused’ Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said on Monday that he had been “falsely accused” of sexual harassment during the time he led a restaurant-industry trade association in the late 1990s, and that he had never harassed anyone. LINK

RICK PERRY: The New York Times’ Gerry Mullany: “ Perry Tax Plan Would Help Rich and Lower Tax Revenue, Study finds” Catherine Rampell of The Times’s Economix blog reports on how the Center for Tax Policy has now scored the Rick Perry flat-tax plan, and finds the extent to which it would benefit the rich and reduce federal tax revenues. LINK

USA Today’s Brooks Jackson and Robert Farley: “ Fact Check: Perry’s dubious tax promise” In his speech unveiling his proposed “flat tax” overhaul of the tax system, Rick Perry promised that “taxes will be cut across all income groups in America.” But a newly released analysis of his plan by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center concluded that many lower-income persons and families would see their taxes go up. In his Oct. 25 “Cut, Balance, Grow” speech, Perry said a beefed up standard deduction assured lower- and middle-class residents would see a tax break. LINK

MITT ROMNEY: The Boston Globe’s Shira Schoenberg:” Romney gets fund-raising aid from official with firm seeking to build controversial power line” An official involved in a controversial power project in New Hampshire is co-chairing a fundraising event for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. According to an invitation provided by the liberal Center for American Progress, Greg Butler, the senior vice president and general counsel for The Northern Pass, is one of the co-chairs of a $500-a-head fundraiser for Romney at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan this Wednesday evening. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS: Neera Tanden Says Obama Can Bypass GridlockLINKSenate Candidate Ted Cruz on ABC’s Top LineLINK

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